We love #lgovsm

This post is a joint-effort for #weeklyblogclub written by Sasha Taylor and Mark Braggins. In it we pay homage to two local government institutions, one recently retired, the other still going strong.

We Love LocalGov

The We Love Local Government blog was published every weekday from November 2009 to the end of June 2012.  It was written by local government officers who remained anonymous, right up to their very last post.

Gareth and Glen hosting the blogging session at LocalGovCamp
Gareth and Glen hosting the blogging session at LocalGovCamp

Given the diverse range of subjects tackled, and the varied writing style, it was widely believed there were around 4-6 regular contributors. It turns out there was just two: Glen Ocsko and Gareth Young.

WeLoveLocalGov showed what can be achieved when people really put their minds to it, and has been an inspiration for newbie bloggers. The comments on the final WeLoveLocalGov post read like an honours list.

Although it’s sad that WeLoveLocalGov is no more, Gareth and Glen finally get some well-deserved free time. It also meant they could speak openly when they co-hosted a session about blogging at LocalGovCamp. Here are a few take-aways we noted from that session:

LocalGov Blogging: Takeaways

  • Blogs don’t have to be lots of writing – they can be audio / video podcasts, or photos with the odd caption
  • WeeklyBlogClub is a great support network for new and existing bloggers
  • Blogging is not the same as publishing reports on the web – the style and tone are different
  • There are some great examples of front-line service blogs, like ShropshireFamilyInfo
  • People are much more likely to read blog posts than press releases
  • It might help newbie bloggers to have a ‘critical friend’ – most existing bloggers  will be happy to cast a friendly eye over a draft post
  • PublicSectorBloggers is a great list of, er, public sector bloggers

Weekly Chats: #lgovsm

The second ‘institution’ in this short post is #lgovsm, a weekly chat on Twitter, which  takes place every Tuesday evening, beginning at 8:30pm. The ‘lgovsm’ acronym stands for: ‘Local Government Social Media’

‘Officially’, #lgovsm runs for an hour from 8:30pm-9:30pm each Tuesday but – more often than not – the conversation continues long after the allotted time. Some even post social media related-stuff to it on different days throughout the week. How dare they!

The regular hosts are Tom Phillips and John Popham. Tom ran a session at LocalGovCamp asking ‘what next for #lgovsm?’ and the answer came back pretty much: “Carry on as you are”. Tom said that he plans to blog about it, so we won’t go in to any more detail about the session here, apart from following-up on one of the conversation threads:

However great the chats are, valuable information can be lost – tweets don’t last long on Twitter

A transcript used to be posted on the lgovsm.org.uk web site, but the last one was in November 2011. In the second part of this post – which won’t make even the squidgiest of weeklyblogclub deadlines – we look at this week’s chat. We’ll post it before next Tusday’s chat starts.

We’ll also think aloud about whether #lgovsm and #weeklyblogclub might connect…

By Mark Braggins

Walking, usually with my two ex-racing greyhounds. Interested in lots of stuff. Work: Business Development and Research at Drawnalism


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